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Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders


#1

Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders

Adam Parsons

Following the first ever United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants last week, many civil society organisations and concerned citizens are taking stock of our government’s collective response to this unprecedented global crisis. The UN Summit was two years in the making, and gave a rare opportunity for world leaders to step up their commitments to help refugees, as well as draw up a blueprint for a more effective international plan of action.


#3

The Internet has virtually broken the borders down. This is where the new world starts.


#5

Not "our deepest life instincts," which actually have very little to do with borders. And when I can surmise about you, for instance, only your gender from how you present here, we're starting off on a nearly unbounded plane. Should we develop a relationship that starts to touch deeper life instincts, we could be surprised to find we've already gone beyond what would have kept us from saying hello had we first met IRL or with labels of nation and ethnicity plastered on us.


#7

Just how? Rationing? The problem is the overdevelopment, and that would take decades to roll back.


#9

Uh-oh. Here's what happens when we start discussing before we read the article. At least my error was misunderstanding what you wee arguing by "deepest life instincts": I thought you meant that would be the source of resistance to breaking down borders. Now that I hear you say

my argument changes to one of the impossibility of awakening the ability to see how my individual actions, possibly at my own expense, will save the planet. But the article was not about

Those legal barriers [that] benefit the power elite and [have] no other reason.

It was about actual national borders, historically and culturally established and of the kind that Europe knows much better than the US, and has been most recently wrestling with. It was about resurrecting the borders that allow some member of the EU to say 'Hey, they're landing on your shores. You keep 'em. We'll send you some coins to help out.' Parsons mentions the problem of preventing displacement, but only as an aside, and does not talk about whether the global economy works for or against his migrants, who are refugees from war, not for economic promise.

I think you have some important points, Mark, but you need to back them up with data in your own article. I won't try any more to discuss your article on this thread.


#10

It is gratifying to see more and more articles such as this one. After all, it has been the goal of socialists for one world since Marx said workers have no country. Others too at the time promoted the idea of internationalism
“Is there a poor and oppressed man in England? Is there a robbed and ruined artisan in France? Well, then, they appertain to one race, one country, one creed, one past, one present, and one future. The same with every nation, every colour, every section of the toiling world. Let them unite. The oppressors of humanity are united, even when they make war. They are united on one point that of keeping the peoples in misery and subjection." So said the Chartist, Ernest Jones

Another Chartist activist,George Julian Harney, explained ‘All men are brethren. We denounce all political and hereditary inequalities and distinctions of castes …. We believe the earth, with all its natural productions, to be the common property of all …. We believe that the present state of society, which permits its idlers and schemers to monopolise the fruits of the earth and, the production of industry, and compels the working class to labour for inadequate rewards, and even condemns them to social slavery, destitution, and degradation, to be essentially unjust.’

Anther time Harney declared:
‘Whatever national differences divide Poles, Russians, Prussians, Hungarians, and Italians, these national differences have not prevented the Russian, Austrian, and Prussian despots uniting together to maintain their tyranny; why, then, cannot countries unite for obtainment of their liberty? The cause of the people in all countries is the same—the cause of Labour, enslaved, and plundered…In each country the tyranny of the few and the slavery of the many are variously developed, but the principle in all is the same. In all countries the men who grow the wheat live on potatoes. The men who rear the cattle do not taste flesh-food. The men who cultivate the vine have only the dregs of its noble juice. The men who make clothing are in rags. The men who build the houses live in hovels. The men who create every necessary comfort and luxury are steeped in misery. Working men of all nations, are not your grievances your wrongs, the same? Is not your good cause, then the same also? We may differ as to the means, or different circumstances may render different means necessary but the great end—the veritable emancipation of the human race—must be the one end and aim of all.’

And this was the failing of the article. Although capitalism creates globalisation and transnational corporations, it nevertheless requires nation-states, as well.

To abolish borders we have to abolish capitalism. They knew it back in the mid-19th century, why don't they know it now?


#11

No progress is possible in or from the US. There is no widespread will for progress. In the US, why would people be willing to help migrants when we refuse to help our own? We can bring in more people, but think about it: In real life, not everyone is able to work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, and we have had no mercy on those who are left out. Bringing in more people to compete for jobs can only increase poverty. We already go to surprising lengths to ignore the poverty we have, but ignoring the poor hasn't made them disappear. This agenda can only turn out very badly.


#12

We don't have jobs for these people. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless Americans who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.), and we have no idea what to do with our current surplus population (those who aren't of current use to employers -- the very poor). Few people (immigrants included) become significant employers.

Borders will always exist for a list of reasons, and regulations and restrictions will continue to apply.


#13

I'm interested in what exactly gives you the right to decide who or how many come into the USA? Where does that privilege come from?

I'm reminded of a story. A hobo takes a short-cut across some private land and is confronted by the owner.
"This is my private property, you have no right to be here"
"How come it is yours?"
"My father left me it"
"And how did he get it?"
"From his father ...and his father before him "
"Well, how did the first of your family get the land"
"He fought the Indians and took it"
Whereupon the hobo replies
"In that case, get your jacket off and i'll fight you now for it"


#15

Right on @alanjjohnston! Capitalism is at the root of this problem, pure and simple. Profit above all else. When money, jobs and drones cross borders freely but people cannot, something's gotta give. Unfortunately it's the innocent bystanders who pay the price.


#16

Agreed. If human constructs like money and corporations can freely cross borders, it is only logical that actual humans should have that option as well. How we get there is a whole other story, though. Possession is deeply ingrained in the human psyche, especially in western democracies.


#17

There's what I thought @markus44 was arguing as "deepest life instincts": self-protection, fear of scarcity. And we're the richest country in the world. How awful that we don't take care of our own, but that's no reason to draw our borders up as tight as our purse strings.


#19

"that the true burden of responsibility lies ever more heavily on the shoulders of ordinary people of goodwill."

The true responsibility still belongs to those who have caused the refugees in the first place and they are the ones who must stop creating more. Actual caring for, and maybe doing something to assist, the current refugees is the burden that ordinary people are carrying and doing.